‘Dookudu’ Movie Review: Mahesh Babu retains his style quotient!

The ‘Prince’ of Telugu cinema is as daring and dashing as ever in a film which has all the elements of a potboiler

‘Prince’ Mahesh Babu is synonymous with style. And his latest tryst with style is Dookudu. The record breaking screen numbers apart, Dookudu has succeeded in sustaining the style quotient so often associated with Mahesh Babu movies. Daring and dashing – That is what the movie’s posters screamed. Mahesh Babu lives up to that macho tag and exudes a flamboyant charm in the movie, albeit with a lesser impact than his blockbuster hit Pokkiri, directed by Puri Jagannadh.

The story unfurls thus. Shankar Narayana (Prakash Raj), whose heart always beats for the poor, falls into the trap of a politico-underworld nexus. After a near-fatal attack on Shankar, his family shifts to the badlands of Mumbai. His son Ajay (Mahesh Babu), of course, is destined to grow up as a cop who doesn’t know the meaning of fear. Mumbai being the ideal landscape for daredevilry, director Sreenu Vaitla unleashes Ajay to crush many gangsters with awesome power and ruthless indifference. His heroics get rewarded in the form of a gigantic task. With such a cop in its ranks, who else but Ajay could be entrusted with the task of fixing underworld’s most dreaded and elusive face – Nayak (Sonu Sood). Now, the cop dons the mask of an MLA to gain access to Naik’s web of deceit and debauchery. The daredevil then plots the imminent fall of the dreaded Naik gang.

Mahesh Babu needs to make little effort to be his usual macho, stylish self. Samantha is just another chirpy character with a pretty face, as is expected. It is heartening to see Prakash Raj in a positive role and the actor can switch mannerisms with immaculate ease. Sonu Sood makes his presence felt. Brahmanandam turns into a laughter machine as Vaitla’s penchant for comedy comes to the fore.

Dookudu’s main flaw is that it fails to keep up with the tremendous pace it generates in the first half. That is a turn off, but through late twists and thrills, the movie bounces back into the genre of a sheer entertainer. Adithya, Abhimanyu Singh, Vennela Kishore and Nassar are the other actors. Dookudu’s story is by Gopi Mohan, but Kona Venkat’s dialogues prove to be the differentiators. KV Guhan is behind the camera. Thaman scores the music.

Dookudu has all the elements of a potboiler – the unholy nexus between underworld and politicos, passionate romance, shrill revenge and the glory of father-son relationship. The movie is almost certain to make a box office splash, but if fans are expecting the lofty fizz of Pokkiri, perhaps there is some disappointment in store.

Mahesh Babu and Samantha’s DOOKUDU stills